Translated by Takuya Erik Watanabe
7 Good-Luck Shrines In The Tokyo Area To Visit In The New Year!
Written by LIFE STYLE, Inc.
Hatsumode, or visiting a shrine at the beginning of the New Year, is a common practice in Japan. If you want to experience the Japanese New Year, join the local crowd at a large shrine. Here are 7 popular shrines and temples in Tokyo!
Hatsumode, or the first shrine visit of the New Year, is a common practice in Japan.
During the first three days of January every year, you'll find countless people lining up at various shrines around the country. If you're looking for the full Japanese Shogatsu (New Year) experience, there's no better way to do it than joining in with the local crowd at a celebrated shrine.
Today we'll be sharing six of our favorite shrines that attract large crowds during the New Year season. We'll even be taking a stroll through the shrines with Google Street View!
Read also: How To Visit A Japanese Shrine
1. Meiji Shrine in Harajuku
Meiji Jingu Shrine is one of the most popular shrines to visit on New Year's Eve. Nearly three and a half million people will visit here between December 31st and January 3rd.
Drag your cursor to the screen above and click and drag to look around. You can see 360 degrees around you.
Meiji Shrine is particularly popular with young people, and couples that are looking to get married in the coming year - they might even be getting married at Meiji Shrine itself. To learn more about Meiji Shrine, see Meiji Jingu: Harajuku's Stunning Shrine.
2. Naritasan Shinshoji in Narita
Naritasan Shinshoji, located in Narita, Chiba prefecture, has a history of over 1000 years. The temple was established upon the wish to calm the fallout from the Taira no Masakado no Ran (Taira no Masakado Incident). In present day, the temple is popular especially among Kabuki actors and sees many visitors every year.
To the right you'll see the three-storied pagoda, built in 1712 and currently designated as an Important Cultural Property. Within the tower are countless Buddha statues, as well as the Sixteen Arhats engraved in the wall.
There are many good-luck spots at Naritasan. The Shusse Inari at the top of the stairs is thought to bring good fortune and success in business.
Address: Chiba, Narita, Narita 1
Phone Number: +81-476-22-2111
Official Website: Naritasan Shinshoji
3. Tsurugaoka Hachimangu in Kamakura
A popular Kamakura shrine established in 1063, Tsurugaoka Hachimangu is also a spot with a story. The current main shrine was built in 1828 and is an Important Cultural Property that conveys the architectural style of the Edo period to modern day.
During the New Year season, visitors wait in long lines at the stone steps. If you plan on greeting the New Year at Tsurugaoka Hachimangu we recommend you come with plenty of time to spare.
Address: Kanagawa, Kamakura, Yukinoshita 2-1-31
Phone Number: +81-467-22-0315
Official Website: Tsurugaoka Hachimangu
4. Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
Located smack bang in the middle of the super popular Asakusa area is Sensoji. The oldest temple in Tokyo boasts over 30 million visitors every year.
Straight ahead is the impressive main temple. You'll find amulets and souvenirs available in the area as well as many visitors shopping for them.
Address: Tokyo, Taito, Asakusa 2-3-1
Phone Number: +81-3-3842-0181
Official Website: Sensoji (Japanese)
5. Yushima Tenmangu in Bunkyo Ward
Yushima Tenmangu is commonly known as Yushima Tenjin, and is famous for its enshrined deity Sugawara no Michizane, the god of learning. Many students with upcoming exams visit the shrine every year. If you have one coming up yourself, you might want to pay the shrine a visit.
Address: Tokyo, Bunkyo, Yushima 3-30-1
Phone Number: +81-3-3836-0753
Official Website: Yushima Tenmangu (Japanese)
6. Kanda Myojin, Near Akihabara
Located in Chiyoda, Tokyo, Kanda Myojin is a shrine that was established about 1300 years ago. It protected the people of Edo (current Tokyo) during the Edo period as the Edo Sochinju.
In the present day, it is known for its enshrined god of love and business, and is an important spot for businesspersons working in Tokyo. Over 300,000 people visit the shrine for the New Year when Japanese sake and mochi are served as the date changes.
Address: Tokyo, Chiyoda, Sotokanda 2-16-2
Phone Number: +81-3-3254-0753
Official Website: Kanda Myojin (Japanese)
7. Zojoji Temple in Minato Ward
Last but certainly not least is Zojoji. The graves of the shogun family who governed Japan at the time, were placed here in the Edo period, and the temple grew to become one of Japan's largest. Tokyo Tower can be seen behind the main building. In the surrounding area you'll find various tourist attractions, so you can enjoy some Tokyo sightseeing along with your hatsumode shrine visit.
Address: Tokyo, Minato, Shibakoen 4-4-7-35
Phone Number: +81-3-3432-1431
Official Website: Zojoji